Defiance is a necessary part of the social structure. Without defiance we become nothing more than trained lab rats, programmed and conditioned to follow and believe in everything we have been told without ever raising a single question. Without defiance our lives would be colorless. The great music, art, and literature we love would not exist had it not been for the disobedience of its creators.
In 1996, the ultimate “good guy” would turn his back on legions of fans and defy every principle for which he once stood when Hulk Hogan joined forces with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash to form the “New World Order of wrestling.” The nWo would eventually expand from its original threesome into a massive company-wide stable that included wrestlers, managers, referees, and even executives.
The nWo were the rebels within the system. The ones who would defy the traditions of World Championship Wrestling and create their own brand of wrestling anarchy. The black and white t-shirts were worn with a sense of pride akin to that of an outlaw biker wearing his cut. All those who didn’t dawn the logo were not safe from harm.
And of course there were a number of WCW talent who did not wear the black and white. Those who defied the defiant and remained away from the group despite the fact that retaliation was an inevitable fate. However, those who chose to stand up and fight against the nWo were not only fighting for WCW but for all those who still believed in the possibility of something good.
The following article will take a look at those who refused to cave to the pressures of the nWo. The select few who separated themselves from the faction and maintained their individuality.
These are the top 15 WCW Superstars who never joined the nWo:
15. Perry Saturn
Perry Saturn joined WCW back in 1997 after being noticed for his exploits in ECW. Saturn would spend the remainder of the ’90s decade with the promotion before finally joining WWE in the year 2000 as part of The Radicalz.
While with WCW, Perry Saturn would find himself immersed in the pool of mid-card talents – many of who you will find on this list – while struggling to get over with gimmicks and compete with the top-tier talents.
The nWo were not opposed to scooping up these mid-card talents for their group but Perry Saturn would never join the faction.
14. La Parka
La Parka was once a proud member of the Latino World Order – a group of Hispanic wrestlers who came together as a parody of the New World Order. This offshoot group were exciting and entertaining to watch.
As for La Parka, his unique style of performance was always welcomed by live crowds as the strange masked Superstar brought something different to the ring; a contrast to what many of the North American audience had grown accustom to watching.
While La Parka did join forces with the Latino side of things, he would never join the official nWo.
Another member of the Latino World Order comes in next on our list with the two-time WCW Cruiserweight Champion, Psychosis; a high-flying Mexican wrestler who helped contribute to the success of the Cruiserweight division.
Like many of his peers and allies, Psychosis would never main event in WCW. However, that doesn’t mean Psychosis didn’t perform with main event level intensity as a match involving Psychosis would rarely (if ever) disappoint.
Psychosis may have ran with the Latino World Order but would never align himself with the likes of the New World Order.
12. Ultimo Dragon
While Ultimo Dragon only spent two years in WCW (1996-98), his tenure with the company would coincide with the rise of the nWo. Dragon was a beloved international wrestler who was enjoyed by the WCW audience.
Throughout his WCW run, Ultimo Dragon would twice capture the Cruiserweight Championship as well as the Television Championship on two occasions proving that Dragon could hold his own in North America.
Eventually, Ultimo Dragon would move on from WCW having worked strictly for the promotion and never joining the nWo.
11. Arn Anderson
It should come as no surprise that an original member of The Four Horsemen – the greatest professional wrestling faction of all time – would chose not to side with the nWo but instead hold true to the traditions of the Horsemen.
Arn Anderson may have retired from in-ring action back in 1997 due to nagging injuries but that never stopped the nWo from recruiting before. You didn’t have to be an active wrestler to join, you just had to offer something to the group.
And really, who wouldn’t want the “Enforcer” Arn Anderson on their side? Unfortunately for the nWo, Anderson would consistently walk in the opposite direction.
10. Roddy Piper
In 1996, Roddy Piper – a man thought to be past his prime in the eyes of WWE fans – would appear in WCW to fight his way back into the swing of things. In fact, Piper would main event Starrcade that same year with Hollywood Hogan.
While a Hogan/Piper match was clearly outdated and had been seen over on the WWE side of thing a decade prior, fans of WCW would still stand behind the aging Superstars as their longstanding rivalry appeared far from over.
During his time in WCW – much like his time anywhere – Roddy Piper would ruffle some feathers but would never join the nWo.
Everywhere Raven has wrestled he has been portrayed an an outcast. The nihilist who has come to make everybody else miserable and share in the gloom that is the existence of Raven. The long lost wrestling loner.
While working for WCW, Raven would lead his own faction known as The Flock, a group of disenchanted misfits who found common ground in the dark corners of the promotion. The hapless wrestlers who separated from the rest of the crowd.
When the nWo eventually become the “it” faction. it’s no wonder a guy like Raven would distance himself from the group.
8. Dean Malenko
Personality-wise: Dean Malenko is one of the most boring characters in the history of professional wrestling. Ability-wise: Dean Malenko can hold his own with the best professional wrestlers that have ever stepped into the squared-circle.
In WCW, Dean Malenko would become a fixture of the Cruiserweight division having won the championship four times and putting together some of the best Cruiserweight matches/feuds in the history of the promotion.
Dean Malenko is a traditionalist who of course was never going to break away from his principals and join the nWo.
7. Diamond Dallas Page
Diamond Dallas Page was one of the few loyal WCW solders who remained with the promotion through the early years, the glory days, and the final gasps of air at the end of its life-cycle. Thus, DDP was awarded the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on three occasions.
Diamond Dallas Page has faced his share of criticism as it pertains to his talents and ability to truly stand out as a main event player. Like him or hate him; DDP managed to make a solid and success career out of his time in WCW.
While often at odds with members of the nWo, Diamond Dallas Page would never join the faction.
6. Rey Mysterio
Despite never joining the nWo, Rey Mysterio will forever live within the group’s archives … Early on in their “invasion” of WCW, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were taking out anybody who stood in their way regardless of size.
One night on Nitro, little Rey Mysterio would test this hypothesis by leaping at Kevin Nash, only to be caught and tossed head first like a dart into the side of a trailer. The footage of this incident has lived on and continues to find its way into nWo-related specials/programming.
Rey Mysterio did however join the Latino World Order.
5. Eddie Guerrero
Throughout this list, there has been much discussion about the Latino World Order and its members but what about their leader? The man who lead this mockery faction was none other than the great Eddie Guerrero, who assumed the reigns and made something interesting out of real life heat.
The story goes that Eddie Guerrero had legitimate backstage beef with Eric Bischoff; a situation that would translate into an on-air angle where Guerrero chewed out Bischoff in the middle of the ring subsequently leading to the formation of the Latino World Order.
Eddie Guerrero with just reason would never become a member of the nWo.
4. Booker T
In WCW, Booker T truly was the diamond in the rough. The promotion took a long time to realize this and by the time Booker was given the opportunity to shine, the lights in WCW had already grown dim and were soon to burn out.
Having established himself as a tag team wrestler along with his brother Stevie Ray in Harlem Heat, it was clear (at least to fans) that Booker T was destined to be one of the greats. Of course, Booker would cement himself as a wrestling legend in WWE.
Booker T never needed the nWo to help make him cool, it came naturally and thus Booker would never join the group.
3. Chris Jericho
In professional wrestling, natural charisma can carry someone a long way. Chris Jericho is s perfect example of this. Jericho is now considered one of the greatest WWE Superstars of all time, something that may not have happened had it not been for WCW.
While performing for the promotion, Chris Jericho was underutilized and left frozen in the Cruiserweight division. The frustrations this caused would lead to Jericho’s departure and the beginning of his WWE story, which would turn out to be quite a tale.
Chris Jericho was not considered main event material in WCW and would never walk among the black and white of the nWo.
The greatest WCW-created star is undoubted Bill Goldberg (Keep in mind while reading that statement that many WCW talent were already established in WWE). Goldberg was their guy and his undefeated push was an incredible thing to witness.
In perhaps the biggest match in the history of Monday Nitro, Goldberg would defeat Hollywood Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in a moment that is regarded as one of the best the promotion has ever produced.
While at odds with many member of the nWo during his run, Goldberg would remain on the WCW side of the fight.
1. Ric Flair
Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan running side-by-side in the same faction? It could never be done. The star power alone would be too much to handle as the conflicts of egos and top billing would interfere with the progression of the group.
Ric Flair is The Four Housemen. Ric Flair is a necessary component of Evolution. Ric Flair is not the New World Order. Tensions between Flair and Eric Bischoff would have never allowed for Flair to properly fit into the group anyhow.
Besides, nobody wanted to see Ric Flair walk that aisle in a black and white t-shit. Where’s the stylin’ and profilin’ in that?
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